Craggy Pinnacle Trail

At A Glance


0.73 mi one-way

Difficulty Rating: 0.73
Steepness: Climbs Moderately
Tread Condition: Some Obstacles
Other Map ID: BRP MP 364.2
Hikes That Use This Trail: Craggy Pinnacle


Starting at the Craggy Dome overlook, this excellent trail travels to the top of a rather pointy mountain, where a spectacular 360 degree view awaits. It is moderately steep, quite rocky, sometimes wet, and has some log steps as well, but it is well worth the effort.

Passes through a northern hardwood forest on the lower portion. There is a spring about halfway up - this is the headwaters for Waterfall Creek, which flows over Douglas Falls further down the mountain. Closer to the top, the trail wraps around a big rock with a small "cave" under it, and then travels through a heath bald - where trees are lacking but the mountain is covered with heath shrubs such as Catawba rhododendron, mountain laurel, and blueberries.

Just below the summit, the trail splits - head right to reach the lower overlook; head left to achieve the 5700' summit. It is worth going to both overlooks. From the top, you can see the Barnardsville valley in the west, to Mount Mitchell and Big Butt in the north, to Graybeard Mountain and the North Fork Reservior in the east, and the visitor center and Craggy Flats and Craggy Knob to the south. This view is not to be missed!

Please note that the Craggy Pinnacle trail is planned to be closed, due to the prevalence of rare and endangered species of plants on or near the summit, and the impact that hikers leaving the trail has on them. The Blue Ridge Parkway General Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement released January 15, 2013 outlines closing the trail completely, and replacing it with one to the top of Craggy Dome.

This trail is located in the Blue Ridge Parkway Section 4 area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Blue Ridge Parkway Section 4 trails list page.

This trail also crosses into these trailhead areas:

All Photos from the Trail

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Map Information

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Data Formats

KML (Google Earth)

KML is the main file type used by Google Earth. If you have Google Earth installed, clicking the KML link should open the trail or point directly in Google Earth for viewing. This is the native file format used by Google Earth, but many other map applications can use and understand KML as well, so if you're not sure which one to download, KML is a good bet.


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GeoJSON is a newer, lightweight data exchange format which can be used to quickly share map data and may have a smaller size than KML or GPX. Many professional mapping and GIS applications support the GeoJSON format.

About the Map


Base Layers

Base layers provided by OpenStreetMap, the US Geological Survey, the US Forest Service, and NC OneMap. Base layer images are subject to the respective copyright policies of their owners. Base layers may not be available at all times due to system maintenance or outages.

WNCOutdoors Base Layer

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Trail and Marker Overlays

Trail layers and downloadable data are all original works created by WNCOutdoors with guidance from a variety of sources, including ensembles of our own GPS tracks, user contributed GPS tracks, official maps and GIS data from government agencies, and field observations. WNCOutdoors data is made freely available under the Open Database License - you are free to copy and use it for any purpose under the terms of that license (summary).


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Trail Segments

Trails are often made up of several connecting paths which may have different characteristics, allowed uses, and seasons. This trail is divided into multiple segments as follows:

Parking to Summit

  • Allowed Uses: Hiking
  • Length: 0.38 mi

Split to Lower Overlook

  • Allowed Uses: Hiking
  • Length: 395 ft

Total Calculated Length: 0.46 mi

This value is derived from our underlying map data, and it may not match officially published information.



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